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By Lisa Cypers Kamen.

Chinese Wealth SymbolImagine the worst roommate possible. You are clean; he or she is a slob who leaves dishes unwashed and dirty laundry strewn across the floor. You are a morning person; your roommate’s definition of an early morning is partying until 3 a.m. and sleeping until noon. You are trying to eat healthy, but your roommate leaves junk food everywhere, as if to tempt you at your weakest moments. There is quarreling and high levels of frustration that drain you of your positivity and zap away your carefree attitude.

Does that sound like a disaster? Wait until you meet the lousiest roommate match imaginable: Your ego and your true self. These two aspects of yourself are in constant battle inside your body, each trying to rule your mind and control your actions. Your ego is a troublemaker. It needs constant approval from others to make it feel confident, and sticks to what it knows so that it can be in constant control. It thrives based on external, superficial factors like material possessions and what others think of you. Your true self, on the other hand, encourages you to find inspiration, develop deep relationships and thrive by trying new things and challenging yourself – all conditions that frighten and frustrate your ego. You can sense instantly that these two polar opposites don’t exactly leave you feeling harmonious.

This constant internal struggle is exhausting. Who needs that zapping away your energy and good spirits? The first step to being happy with yourself is to quit relying on your ego for your self worth. There’s no room in your life for your ego’s warped view of reality – it doesn’t deserve to be occupying prime real estate in your mind! By letting go of the need to control – and define yourself by – the actions of others, you’ll quickly see that your true self is the more desirable of the two roommates. Take time each day to try new things, develop meaningful relationships and find inspiration in the things around you. By doing so, you’ll find yourself in tune with your true self. And that’s guaranteed to make your living situation a much more harmonious one!

Happiness is an inside job.®

Happiness Strategy:

Imagine a conversation between your ego and your true self. Which would make each of the following statements?

  • Unless I make money, I’m not a successful person.
  • I love meeting new people who have ideas that are different than my own.
  • I’m going to travel to a country where I’m challenged to learn a new language.
  • If Person X doesn’t like what I’m doing, what I’m doing must be wrong.

As you work through the exercise, start identifying statements you make in your daily life that are made by your ego. Once you do, change the conversation and let your true self shine.

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Lisa Cypers Kamen is a filmmaker, positive psychology coach, author, host of Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio, professor and lecturer specializing in the field of sustainable happiness. She is widely recognized as an expert on the subject. Lisa’s acclaimed documentary film co-produced with her now fifteen year-old daughter, Kayla, “H-Factor…Where is your heart?” explores how people in varied circumstances find, generate and share happiness. In addition to her film on happiness, Lisa has also published a number of articles and books entitled, Got Happiness Now?, Are We Happy Yet?, Leadership: Helping Others to Succeed and Reintegration Strategies, about combat trauma and using positive psychology principles to create wellness in a post-war new normal. Lisa’s written work is featured on blogs for the Huffington Post, and and she is a TEDx community event speaker. In addition, she is the Happiness Expert for the Florida Department of Citrus/ Florida Orange Juice in its Take on the Day campaign.

Harvesting Happiness for Heroes™ is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that delivers stigma-free integrated combat trauma recovery services to warriors and their loved ones. Modalities include scientifically proven strengths based Positive Psychology coaching and interdisciplinary tools such as film, yoga, meditation, art and creative writing designed to mindfully empower the client to achieve increased self-mastery, self-esteem and reclaim her/his life. HH4Heroes focuses on the balance of mind, body and emotion resulting in greater overall wellbeing and the transformation of Post-Traumatic Stress (PTS) into Post-Traumatic Growth (PTG). HH4Heroes offers retreat workshops, one-on-one coaching, Battle Buddy programs, as well as our new R.E.B.O.O.T Online virtual community coaching classrooms designed to reach underserved areas. In addition, HH4Heroes deploys Return to Duty™ civilian and corporate training to help welcome a warrior home and into the community and workplace.

Lisa is committed to teaching Happiness is an inside job™ and helping others end their needless suffering through intentionally cultivating greater joy.

For more information, please visit, and

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